StationScout Navigates New Waters

Support for IEC 104 RTU/Gateway Testing


It can be tough to make sure that data transmission within substations, and from substations to control centers is working correctly. Inefficient testing processes can lead to several problems:

  • longer engineering times
  • higher operational costs
  • potential system vulnerabilities

These issues arise because traditional testing methods are manual and time-consuming, which hinders the overall efficiency, security, and safety of power grid operations. Additionally, maintaining system consistency after each firmware update to the IEDs in the substation is challenging, but crucial.

Fortunately, StationScout automates these processes for IEC 61850 and IEC 60870-5-104 protocols, connecting station bus, process bus, and Wide Area Networks (WAN) simultaneously for an automated end-to-end testing process. With previously created templates, StationScout can run thousands of necessary tests in minutes and generate automated reports for mitigation actions. But what does a testing process with StationScout look like in detail?

Manual testing methods vs. test automation

Reduced engineering time through simultaneous connections

Typically, a test run for the Substation Automation System (SAS) involves the following steps:

1. Finalize all configuration files, including SCL and gateway mappings.
2. Collect all SAS elements such as IEDs, gateways, HMIs, and ensure they are present.
3. Wire up and label the SAS panels.
4. Check wiring against SAS schematics.
5. Validate the SCL file.
6. Send configurations to IEDs, gateways, HMIs, and RTUs.
7. Verify horizontal GOOSE communication between IEDs at both process bus and/or station bus, usually requiring several vendor tools.
8. Verify vertical client/server communication between IEDs and clients at the process bus and/or Station Bus, usually requiring several vendor tools.
9. Start testing the wiring of the Process Interface Unit (PIU) against corresponding logic and resulting IEC 61850 communication service at the process bus, usually requiring several vendor tools.
10. Control the process simulator to check binary inputs and outputs wired to PIU, usually requiring an additional person.
11. Test client/server communication from the Bay Control Unit (BCU) and Bay Protection Unit (BPU) to the station HMI(s) using multiple vendor tools, usually requiring two experts.
12. Test client/server and IEC 60870-5-104 communication from the BCU and BPU through gateway(s) to control center HMI(s) using several vendor tools, usually requiring two experts.
13. Repeat all the above tests for all other bays.
14. Repeat all the above tests with the same effort during FAT, involving several people and multiple vendor tools.
15. Repeat all the above tests with the same effort during SAT, involving several people and multiple vendor tools.
16. Repeat these steps at reduced intervals during maintenance or firmware updates.
17. Repeat these steps for the next project, even if it is identical to the previous one.

In contrast, using StationScout simplifies the process significantly:

1. Finalize all IED configurations, including SCL and gateway mappings.
2. Provide only the Device Under Test (DUT), such as the BCU or gateway. Simulate the rest of the SAS.
3. Establish StationScout connection to single or multiple subnetworks simultaneously.
4. Run the test cases prepared in the office in automated control and assessment mode for SAS.
5. Duplicate the same tests for typical bays and re-execute automated tests.
6. Save the test cases for easy use during FAT and SAT with real IEDs and equipment.
7. Export the same test cases for use in the next project, with minimal adaptation needed. 

Updated hardware options for enhanced freedom and safety

Our hardware options provide an unprecedented level of flexibility, allowing you to choose and work with them to suit your specific need.

Discover StationScout Now!


Discover our Coverstories

Listen to our podcasts

You are using an outdated browser version.
Please upgrade your browser or use another browser to view this page correctly.